2018 Scholarship Recipients

Eh Kaw Thaw

2018 Scholarship Recipient

If I could, I would like to go back to my birthplace. Born in one of the 9 refugee camps located in Thailand, being alive was a privilege. Like every other family living there, my parents risked their lives to cross the river and escape persecution from the Burmese soldiers. Through the many stories that I overheard as my mother shared her traumatic past with friends, it amazes me of what one is willing to risk for safety. Sometimes, I would even record their conversations in order to replay and remind myself of the sacrifices made for me to be where I am today.

Na Khai

2018 Scholarship Recipient

My childhood was filled with poverty, and overcoming difficult circumstances is something I understand well. My mother and father have only a primary school education, and in Burma this meant a life of obstacles. My father worked in construction, earning little more than a back full of pain and arms exhausted from hard labor. My mother stood on her feet for ten-hour shifts at a clothing store. They fought for our survival and had little time to care for my siblings and I. However, they deeply valued education. No matter how expensive the used textbooks and tuition were, my parents found a way.

2017 Scholarship Recipients


2017 Scholarship Recipient

helping hands and caring hearts 2017 scholarship recipientIf I could, I would select a place during my travels to build an orphanage. It would be more than a house of bricks and walls; it would be a home constructed of love, trust, and care. I want to provide shade to children who burn under the sun, satisfy stomachs that ache with the emptiness of insufficient meals, and fill the spaces in hearts that cry from loneliness. While I know it would be easier to donate to an organization that is already established, I want to be there, personally, for the children in my orphanage’s care. I want my own hands to provide what is needed. I want my actions to convey that “I am here for you” and see reflected back in children’s eyes the knowledge that “she is here for me.” I want to build my orphanage into a family of togetherness, dignity, and support.


2017 Scholarship Recipient

helping hands and caring hearts 2017 scholarship recipientIf I could, I would like to form my own organization of women to mentor and encourage girls to further their education. When women help other women rise, the empowerment creates a change that ripples through society. Teaching teenage girls to lead younger girls in finding positive ways to work through challenges develops strength and self-esteem in both groups. Through my organization, my goal is for women and girls to discover that with hard work, they can find everything they need within themselves.

Through my program of mentors, young women will be inspired to start thinking about their futures and learn to decrease distractions from education. We will support girls who experience difficulties and guide them in finding their own solutions to issues. Eventually, our girls will develop the confidence to set goals and face obstacles on their own.

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